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Insider: Pro Tour Hour of Devastation Picks for Standard

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After last weekend, Standard looks a whole lot different than it did before, and things are only going to be amplified with Pro Tour Hour of Devastation this weekend. The previous frontrunner was White-Blue Oketra's Monument, but it has taken a back seat with the emergence of Mono-Red Aggro, which dominated the weekend by taking both finals berths in the SCG Team Open and winning the Standard Classic. It also won the PTQ at GP Kyoto, meaning it’s surely got the attention of the many pros that were in attendance at the GP. The deck has risen to one of the most popular decks online, and the prices of its cards have spiked accordingly. I expect if the deck is popular at the Pro Tour, which it most assuredly will be, the paper prices are going to follow suit.


Bomat Courier can be had for under $1, but the online price more than tripling from 0.8 tix at the HOU release to nearly 3 now, with 50-percent growth in the past week, leads me to believe the paper price is going to start heading upwards.


Falkenrath Gorger has seen a similar online trajectory, nearly tripling since the HOU release with a 50-percent gain in the last week, indicating that the paper price of a $1 is too low if Mono-Red becomes a top-tier deck after the Pro Tour.


Earthshaker Khenra has more than doubled online in the past week, from 3 tix to over 6, and the paper price has tripled to nearly $3, but given the $8 price tag on Champion of Wits, it looks like it has plenty more room to grow.


Tom Ross using Soul-Scar Mage in his Open-winning list has sent its online price doubling from 0.6 to 1.25 tix, and the paper price had already been slowly trending upwards, so it’s due for a rise if it’s popular in the Pro Tour builds.


Collective Defiance is used in some versions of the deck, and it looks to be more important as players begin to fight back with cards like Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. The online price doubled over the week, from 0.6 tix to 1.2, so the paper price of $1 is due for a rise.


I’m also keeping my eyes on Hazoret the Fervent, which has gained 50 percent online in the past week to over 7 tix, but has seen its paper price stagnated to $6. It could head towards its previous peak of $10 with a good Pro Tour showing.


Another big player in the Mono-Red deck is Chandra, Torch of Defiance, which has seen its price grow to 36 tix online from under 30 before news of the deck broke. The paper price has gained a few dollars since, now at $30, and it could head higher. The planeswalker also has a lot of Modern and casual appeal, and is likely the best red planeswalker ever, so there’s the possibility that it sees movement like Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana of the Veil and just continues to move higher even through rotation. The planeswalker still has another year in Standard too, so it’s possible that this price will soon look like a bargain.

There’s also the X-factor of the new God-Pharaoh's Gift Reanimator deck that won the MTGO PTQ and finished in the top eight of the SCG Classic. The deck operates differently than everything else in the format, and its high power level combined with a breakout finish mean it’s surely on the radar of the pros.


There are reports that the deck's key mythic, Angel of Invention, completely sold out at GP Kyoto and shops around Tokyo. There is clearly demand across the globe, as demonstrated as its price spiking from $2 to $7, and a breakout finish would send this price even higher.


The deck also uses Cataclysmic Gearhulk, which was hyped on release but hasn’t made even a minor impact in Standard since. It’s likely that this new deck, which can use Refurbish to get it into play after milling or trigger its ability by eternalizing a copy, will be its best home ever. The online price spiked from 0.3 tix to over 2 before falling back down to 1.2, but it’s now up to 1.4. The paper price has broken a dollar and is trending upwards, so there might be some money to be made here if the deck breaks out at the Pro Tour.


The centerpiece of the deck is God-Pharaoh's Gift, and it has spiked from 50 cents to $3. The online price leveled off below 4 tix before falling under 3.5, but if the deck performs at the Pro Tour we’ll see both prices head upwards.


The deck also relies on Champion of Wits as a graveyard engine and draw fixing, and it’s to blame for the card’s recent spike from $3 to $8! The card is clearly one of the best from the new set, and I suppose $10 is a possibility, but I don’t see this one moving much higher. It’s likely that now is a good time to sell and profit from the hype, especially considering the online price failed to hit 9 tix before beginning to fall back towards 8.


Another component of the deck is Mausoleum Wanderer, which spiked from 0.5 tix to 1.7, fell to 0.8, and how now risen to 1.3 tix. The paper price is still under $1, and hype from this deck will send it upwards. There’s also appeal as a Spirit that’s Modern playable and a necessity for any casual spirit deck, so it looks great moving forward.

The Pro Tour begins today, and we'll have a clear picture of Standard by Sunday, so be prepared for big changes in the market!

–Adam

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